About this Show

NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1235

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Obama 7, Nevada 6, Romney 5, Chris Hayes 5, America 5, Florida 5, Schwab 4, Ben Smith 4, Barack Obama 4, Virginia 4, Us 4, Israel 4, Mccaskill 3, John Kerry 3, Msnbc 3, Alex Wagner 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Claire Mccaskill 3, Citi 3, Ben 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    September 28, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

12:00pm
>> i'm ari melber in for alex. joining me is jeff mason, author and msnbc political analyst joan walker of salon.com, melissa harris perry, and buzz feed editor in chief ben smith. the election is in 39 days but early voting has begun in more than half of the country. which could account ultimately for a third of all votes cast this year. so it's probably not a good sign the republicans are still pointing fingers openly questioning governor romney's strategy. that is bringing him to pennsylvania at this very hour. that's a state where he was down by 12 points according to a poll from quinnipiac university. other polls out show president obama and romney locked in a tight fight. according to the nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll, president obama has a slight lead in nevada and north carolina but basically within the margin of error. and in virginia, a new poll from
12:01pm
suffolk university/nbc 12 puts obama slightly ahead of romney, also within the margin of error. so, how can romney turn it around? it may not be easy. some people within this romney campaign have concluded he's not actually a very good politician. here's what one romney official explained to politico. he said -- now romney's former rival newt gingrich doesn't go quite that far, but he says that romney needs to reform his thinking. >> i think they're only now beginning to come to grips with the general election. they had a very -- >> scary -- >> they had a very successful primary strategy. in a primary you can raise enough money to build a motor boat and drive to where you want to get to in the primary. in the general election you're like a sail boat. the system is so much bigger
12:02pm
than you. >> it is hard to go from a motor boat to a sail boat, known who is familiar with yachting knows that. ben smith, i want to go right to you and talk about sort of the problem facing this campaign. first, when is the last time that governor mitt romney gave a speech or did an event or otherwise made some sort of policy news that had an impact on voters and on this race? >> i mean i don't know. it's been a while. that is one of the things about these campaigns. not that romney has lost it all in one moment through a fatal gaffe although there have been bad moments but every day he's losing it day by day each day in a new and creative method and i think it's very tricky and what you're starting to see in the quotes there is a potential for republican -- for kind of, you know, staffer starting to give premore tems to the press, spin how it's not their fault. toward the enof the mccain campaign they were preparing internal memos of how to exonerate themselves of blame. you'll start to see that coming.
12:03pm
when that kind of thing comes, republican money people start to smell it and look for other places to put their resources. >> melissa, is there extra credit for losing creatively? you're a teacher and educator. >> i mean there actually is extra credit for losing creatively if you are a current office holder. if you are a senator or governor and going to go back to that job then, in fact, there are ways if you lose you can lose and still retain your position, for example, as mccain does as a particular kind of voice within the context of the senate. but when you are as romney said many, many times in the primary, an unemployed guy, then what happens is you simply become sort of a speed bump in history. >> now, jeff, you followed a lot of campaigns. i'm sure you remember when people thought senator obama was losing. are people counting romney out too early and does that help him in any way? >> they're not counting him out of the obama campaign. the whole team in chicago and else where across the country is
12:04pm
working really hard on their ground game. they want democrats not to feel overconfident, despite the fact that the polls are good, despite the fact that he's doing well in the swing states. they see this as a race that will be close and don't want their voters and supporters to forget that. >> let's take a listen to something chuck todd said. it does come down to the different states and the problem for romney is the number of states where they have a ground game that can really capitalize seems to be diminishing. take a listen to this. >> florida still matters big and if somehow the president wins it it's check mate. no path without florida and for mitt romney there's no path if he's going to crede ohio, that's what's going on, the move of ohio, where romney cannot seem to connect with white working-class voters, doing this bus trip but the move of ohio that suddenly means he's got to win florida and virginia. >> joan walsh, you've written about the white working-class vote. the numbers don't bear out the places where romney was supposed to have an advantage are not coming together for him. >> right.
12:05pm
i think that what we've seen this week is he's really in trouble in ohio he's really in trouble in florida. he cannot lose both those states. and paul ryan brought nothing to the ticket except fear. we have a situation where white seniors are afraid of medicare, their message that we're going to protect it did not get through, seniors saw through that. and so i don't -- we can obsess about the smaller states and it's really tight in nevada but in the end ohio and florida if he can't win those he can't win. >> let's talk about fear for a second because -- i'll bring you back in, jeff. there was a great screen shot still from the newest romney ad that says literally emblazoned across a person's face your job is in danger. but the question jeff, does that message compute to people that things are bad and thus you're going to vote for the other guy at this point? >> it's really a question of which message is really resonating and in ohio and a lot of these states. in ohio particularly the obama team has pushed the auto rescue, there are a lot of jobs in ohio
12:06pm
that were saved by that, and they see that as one of the reasons he's doing so well. the romney team is pushing energy and they still see a vulnerability with coal, for example, but the polls are showing that the auto issue is helping obama certainly more than this energy issue seems to be helping romney. >> it feels like when we look at the number of things both structurally and in terms of the campaign, a real rhee election for president obama is in certain ways overdetermined by the models. it's not the absolute level of economic suffering, it's where, you know, how people feel about how things are going, it's about things moving in the right direction. you have an incumbent versus someone not a current office holder. there's a lot of things that overdetermine the likelihood of president obama winning re-election. on the other hand, we have very serious voter suppression efforts in key states and i think, you know, this goes back to your point that the obama campaign is certainly not even beginning to let up. i mean we haven't had a single debate yet.
12:07pm
there is still -- despite the fact that voting has already started there is still a lot to happen in this election and particularly when you look at how those down card races, something that happens in one of the down cards in one of these swing states could ultimately impact what turnout looks like, for example, in virginia or north carolina and then that can impact what happens with the president. >> i would say there's -- it is true as chuck says, ohio is the cen it ter of this, romney's making his strategy around ohio. this is a national election and everything has shifted and romney is in a panic right now everything seems to be sliding away. for him to come back it's not like -- it's not about little -- it's not just about small strategies in individual states. they have to figure out how to pull the whole thing back their way. >> that's what's interesting in the rise of conservative chorus. peggy noonan all over the map, basically has big advice for governor romney as he prepares for next week's dpee bait. she -- debate. she says --
12:08pm
but charles krauthammer in "the washington post" keeps it simple -- and then our favorite newt gingrich gave a big round of advice he says be assertive and be on offense against both obama and his media. and he continued, no president in my lifetime has been as vulnerable to humor as president obama. joan walsh -- >> the idea that this president has not been challenged in public, he was heckled by a reporter in the rose garden. he was heckled during a speech by joe wilson saying you lie. this is their wishful thinking and absolute -- >> effectively mocked, though. "saturday night live" only found somebody to play him. >> and i got to think -- did they read the "vanity fair"
12:09pm
article. this is a guy dying to be in the -- this is a president who gets the most competitive folks to challenge him over and over again and unless you actually break his nose with your elbow he's going to bring you back again. he doesn't want deference. i suspect if romney tries to go large and go strong with this president, it might be an interesting set of debates. >> a great line in the michael lewis piece where they said what happens to the people who got soft on the president in these games and they said they don't get invited back. >> the point it it's true that obama hasn't held a whole lot of press conferences this year, hasn't had debates in a long time, something that campaign has made a pretty big deal about in terms of trying to lower expectations. >> trying to manage expectations. >> he hasn't been challenged in these very public ways and in quite some time. >> if you read the memos from both campaigns it turns out they're both terrible debaters. that's one thing i learned. >> oh, gosh. >> we're going too talk more about that after the break. love the one you're with or keep
12:10pm
the one you're with. despite congress's disapproval rating they appear to be settling with the same old incumbents. next on "now." bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. so it can feel like you're using nothing at all.
12:11pm
but neosporin® eczema essentials™ is different. its multi-action formula restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use...
12:12pm
but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you. but, with the capital one venture card... you can fly any airline, any flight, any time. double miles you can actually use. what's in your wallet? alec jr? it was a gift.
12:13pm
americans are locked in unhappy relationship with congress, but that doesn't mean they're ready for a divorce. congressional approval is currently at just 13% according to gallup. that is up slightly from an all-time low of 10% last month. but despite all this voter
12:14pm
frustration polls show many people are sticking by this current crop of congressional incumbents. in ten competitive senate races with imconwants running for re-election the incumbent is leading in nine out of ten according to recent polls and the incumbent within the margin of error in the tenth senate race. missouri democrat claire mccaskill may benefit from another round of offensive comments by todd akin, republican challenger. comparing her recent debate performance to a 2006 debate, akin likened the senator to a, quote, wild cat and said, in 2006, senator mccaskill had a confidence and was much more ladylike, but in the debate on friday she came out swinging. mccaskill responded today on "morning joe." >> i think the debate was tough for todd because i went through the list of his very, very extreme positions and i think that maybe he wasn't prepared to answer to some of that and so they went back to that -- i think that old, gosh, she was
12:15pm
mean and unladylike. i mean this is somebody who kind of makes michelle bachmann look like a hippie. >> wow. >> michele bachmann, hippie. >> i want to bring you in here and set the context, many people watching me feel like gosh, claire mccaskill seems much more reasonable and senatorial than her challenger todd akin, than the guy calling her all these names, ma some nistic games. in july he was up by five points. in august, she's now up by nine points, but the money may be coming back from republicans here. >> right. >> how do you make sense of a shift in the polls and republicans saying we're over this guy, done with him, pulling out, maybe not. >> because they're liars. they think they can hold on -- grab a senate seat an he's the one they will put their money back in. that's always been true. i said it the day they were pulling out. and if i were claire mcskas kill
12:16pm
i would embrace the wild cat label, i'm a wild cat fighting for your family. i would be really proud of it. but you know, ma someny works with some and if he feels like if he kicks her again maybe he'll bring out those voters. >> an interesting point because senator patty murray when she first ran for office her opponent derided her as a mom in tennis shoes. >> yep. >> and they loved that. they jumped on that. they started giving out every year a mom in tennis shoes award and she's been in the senate a long time. why is it just on -- i want to talk pure politics, why do these male candidates say things to attack and demean more than half of the voting population? >> i think we need to take akin and then take male candidates, right? i think that that's a little bit unfair. >> you know all men are the same, melissa. you know how male candidates are. >> what we know is that women are much less likely to throw their hat in the ring to run for
12:17pm
office at every level from dog catcher to the president of the united states. we know -- >> or wild cat catcher. >> and one of the things we know about that is that when there's an open seat race women are as likely to win as their male opponents assuming they have equal credentials. one of the key reasons we have fewer women in elected office is because of the nastiness of campaigns in part and because so few feel when they see an extremely qualified, competent and smart woman, have you ever thought about running for office, those are questions typically asked of men who have those same qualifications. in often times, when you get to this level, senate level, you have candidates who haven't run against women before and not sure, could you hit a girl, not hit a girl, provoke or not. that's different than what's going on with this race where you have a candidate with his legitimate rape comment and other things have made it clear he has a perspective on women that is very broad ly easily
12:18pm
described as sexist. >> and you talk about the nature of an open seat versus running against incumbents which dovetails with what we have in this congress and ben, you know how unpopular this congress is. as we said in the introduction now, job approval for this congress around 12%. but when you ask people whether their member deserves re-election, the number jumps up to 43%. that's going to help senator mccaskill and a lot -- >> people have always hated congress but like their legislat legislator. mccaskill is showing you the advantages. she picked todd akin. a series of much more palatable republicans who wanted to challenge her and she and her campaign went out of their way to qualify those -- disqualify those guys. she is a very gifted politician. she's a democrat in missouri who associates herself tightly with barack obama, every reason to lose and is a total killer. see her on there smiling sweetly -- >> you're making a different
12:19pm
point which dovetails back with our basketball conversation like a harlem globetrotter thing, this was not the strongest opponent and she's now running circles around him? >> that's a theory. they were -- during the republican primary they were attacking the -- the stronger republican. >> they spent their money to sink the guy early in the primary. >> his comments are basically a gift. for claire mccaskill and waited to september 25th. now he can't get out of the race she's using it. did it on "morning joe" and now with her commercials. it's a gift for the democrats in general. feeds into the narrative the obama campaign has tried to make clear they believe republicans in general don't support policies that are good for women. and this is just a microcosm of that from their perspective. >> they may believe that because at least in the medical sphere it's true. >> right. >> and that's -- they'll push that hard. >> yeah. >> good. i want to give a quick shotout and must see tv alert to "andrea mitchell reports" today a live
12:20pm
interview with democratic senator former presidential nominee and my old boss john kerry. that is ahead on msnbc at 1:00 p.m. eastern. now coming up here it may be the most important untold story in this election. the reason why governor romney can't get traction in these polls. we're going to talk about the emerging obama economy with chris hayes, ahead on "now." tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at schwab, we're committed to offering you tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 low-cost investment options-- tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like our exchange traded funds, or etfs tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 which now have the lowest tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lower than spdr tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and even lower than vanguard. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 that means with schwab, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 your portfolio has tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 a better chance to grow. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and you can trade all our etfs online, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 commission-free, from your schwab account. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so let's talk about saving money, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab etfs.
12:21pm
tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 schwab etfs now have the lowest operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call 1-800-4schwab tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 or visit schwab.com tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 to open an account today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 funding is easy tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab mobile deposit. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 investors should consider tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 carefully information tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 contained in the prospectus, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 including investment objectives, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 risks, charges, and expenses. you can obtain tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 a prospectus by visiting tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 www.schwab.com/schwabetfs. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 please read the prospectus tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 carefully before investing. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
12:22pm
12:23pm
coming up -- senator daniel patrick moynihan once said everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. for ann coulter and the hosts of "the view" the facts are where the fights begin. >> please stop. if you're going to talk about race, at least, at least know what you're talking about. at least know what you're talking about. [ applause ] >> what don't i know?
12:24pm
>> tell me how much you know about being black? >> this isn't about being black. >> you just said, this is -- you just made all these statements about how black people feel. tell me how you no. >> yeah you did. >> it is a book about white liberals. >> can't we all just get along? apparently not during this election. we will examine the heightened passion and rhetoric from both sides next on "now." yeah, i'm looking to save, but i'm not sure which policy
12:25pm
is right for me. you should try our coverage checker. it helps you see if you have too much coverage or not enough, making it easier to get what you need. [ beeping ] these are great! [ beeping ] how are you, um, how are you doing? i'm going to keep looking over here. probably a good idea. ken: what's a good idea? nothing. with coverage checker, it's easy to find your perfect policy. visit progressive.com today.
12:26pm
the economy needs manufacturing.
12:27pm
machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm proud of that. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪ they -- everybody -- white people were, it didn't matter whether they were republicans. >> that was ann coulter dropping by "the view" for a civil discussion about the state of the race. it's clear that with just 39 days until the election both sides are digging in.
12:28pm
>> well, while the left and right duke it out in the field the mega donors are cranking out checks for one october offensive. yesterday george soros stepped up with a $1 million for a pro obama super pac priorities usa. according to gallup president obama has a six-point lead nationally and more importantly, he's currently beating romney in every single swing state. those are tough numbers for the romney campaign to spin, but the right has a new talking point. the polls are a conspiracy. the candidate to be fair has not gone quite that far but does doubt the polls that show he's losing. >> i don't believe it for a minute. i know something about polls -- and i know you can ask questions and get any answer you want. >> it begs the question does each side see the campaign through their own rose tinted glasses. joining the panel from "the new york times" someone who does know something about polls, nicolas confess sorry. we have two things going on, one is the usual thing, everyone
12:29pm
says don't believe the polls, get out and vote and if i'm down, then that's not really the best reflection of where i'm at. then a second much bigger attack, which i think people are familiar with, a really sustained right wing argument that the entire poll apparatus of a range of independent news organizations whose often showed republicans trumping democrats is now for some reason tilted against the obama campaign. >> that's quite a conspiracy. you know, let's leave aside the fact or the notion that perhaps you might want to provide accurate poll information to readers and subscribers to polling organization, what is the value to liberals or obama of stacking all the polls in his favor? what you would want -- remember, there's a huge enthusiasm gap still i think conservatives are motivated, liberals are a bit less motivated why would you want to tell those liberals your guy is winning don't worry about it? what's the point? >> i'm not sure. i mean the enthusiasm gap is closing and, you know, so you
12:30pm
hear it in rush limbaugh telling people, all that matters is that we defeat barack obama and i don't think elections are won that way. on the other hand it turns out that voters like barack obama. swing state voters like barack obama. they may have questions about the economy, but it really is turning out to be a surprise election because i think that the base and more than the base, is anxious to turn out for barack obama. >> there is sort of a hidden truth beneath this conspiracy talk and that is that most polls are prediction about who will turn out. and a lot of the models predict that obama coalition that turned out last time that tilted in some ways more democratic and in some ways more young, will turn out again. that's based on data itself and it interesting a lot of independent pollsters have come to that conclusion. is there any point hidden in here or just really a bankrupt talking point? >> it's not a prediction. they're asking people are you going to vote and they're saying yes. are you a republican or democrat, that shifts around based on how people are feeling
12:31pm
and vote for. but i think one of the things you're seeing in these polls and this story about polling is what you guys said before about having your own facts. the idea here, that republicans don't like polls so they're going to create a new methodology in the website that unskews them is remarkable. something all americans are doing. if you look at the polls and ask people how the economy are doing. democrats say great, republicans say it's doing terribly, politics there is trumping and lived experience of the economy, pretty remarkable. >> i want to bring in an old and sort of strongly held beleaf among conservatives that rick santorum voiced talking about who's on their side. >> we will never have the media on our side. ever in this country. we will never have the elite, smart people on our side. because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do. >> i love this. the elite smart people, the last time i checked, run a lot of
12:32pm
companies because they're elite and many cases because they are smart and good at certain things and what mitt romney referred to as the 1% recently in his tax discussion and what santorum is talking about are elites who contribute and control a lot of the debate, right? >> well, so what i see here, both with the polls can make -- you can make polls say anything which is not true, you cannot make polls say anything, ands also with this -- don't listen to the smart people, it is the driving anti-intellectualism of the right and it is a strategy used to keep a group of people whose economic and regional interests would appropriately put them in the democratic party coalition, if anti-intellectualism rather than race or sometimes connected with race as the wedge to knock off sort of working class white voters out of a democratic coalition where their economic interests actually abide. >> nick, because you came late today we have a pop quiz on the
12:33pm
intellectualism in american life. i know you read up on that. is melissa right here, it's bigger than class and economy, the idea that people who are highly educated or involved in media and polling just are not like you? >> i don't know. i'm always sort of astonished any definition of the elite that doesn't include a fortune 500, most financiers, military, advertising industry, any democrat -- the elite is a broad sector, some of them are smart and some aren't. what it's really about and you see this on both sides of the aisles, resent. . powerful tool to tell your voters people in charge are against you and we can turn them out. >> i mean nixon and sparrow agnew perfected it in the '60s and '70s we're the pointy headed intellectuals and turned the notion of the elite being big business and those people that make the decisions those liberals who want to tell you how to live and where to send your children to school. >> you saw it with president
12:34pm
obama where the first african-american president who has credentials, very much like every other president, ivy league education, all of that sort of thing, suddenly gets framed in this way that his intellectual accomplishments are inappropriate and instead what we saw was a kind of populism that emerged from the mccain and palin campaign in '08 to push back against that. we're seeing a renewal of that. >> mitt romney -- >> joint degrees from harvard. >> exactly. doesn't really match with this candidate but there's a way in which it emerges in '08. >> so used to using it. >> about the attacking academic credentials when you counted up in 2008 how often people's education was specifically cited in major newspaper articles, barack obama's time at harvard went over ten times as many references as other candidates who had great education. >> sarah palin's -- >> also a big part of his life story, a bigger part of his
12:35pm
qualifications, lot more recent than mitt romney was in school and first black president of the harvard law review was one of the accomplishments of a guy n running for president -- >> the complain played it up? >> inspired people about him. >> i'm not sure that -- i don't know. there's a flip side to that. >> thank melissa harris perry for taking time to join us. you should not miss her show this weekend, looking potential disenfran franchisement of latino voters at 10:00 a.m. saturday and 10:00 a.m. sunday as well. do not miss it. now after the break, owning it and selling it, is this election still a referendum on the obama economy and if it is, does that now work in the president's favor? another weekend host, chris hayes, when she joins us for up now, next. does your phone give you all day battery life ?
12:36pm
droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. humans -- sometimes life trips us up. and sometimes,
12:37pm
we trip ourselves up, but that's okay. at liberty mutual insurance we can "untrip" you as you go through your life with personalized policies and discounts when you need them most. just call... and speak with a licensed representative about saving on your policy when you get married, move into a new house... [crash!] or add a car to your policy. don't forget to ask about saving up to 10% when you combine your auto and home insurance with liberty mutual. security, coverage, and savings. all the things humans need to make our beautifully imperfect world a little less imperfect. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn...
12:38pm
giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] something this delicious could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally. who here has a job?
12:39pm
here we go. there we go. what do you do, sir. >> i'm a manager at burger king. >> there you go. having it your way. and where are you four years ago? probably working the counter, right? >> i was a vice president for bank of america. okay. the point is that today you're a manager at one of the -- america's biggest companies that was a success story. >> that was the cast of "saturday night live" poking fun at how president obama is trying to put a spin on the economy. it does look like the president's approach is working. since last month the president has gained the edge over governor romney on the fundamental question of who the voters trust more on jobs and the economy. despite sluggish economic growth looks like people are feeling a little more optimistic. the consumer confidence index is at a four month high. yesterday the bureau of labor statistics revealed the economy added 400,000 more jobs than
12:40pm
originally reported during the 12 months ending in march and back on the campaign trail yesterday, the president began framing his economic policies in patriotic terms. >> during campaign season you always hear a lot about patriotism. well you know what, it's time for a new economic patriotism. an economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong and thriving middle class. >> joining the panel now is msnbc's chris hayes here for a little segment we like to call up now. thanks for being here. >> great to be here. >> you saw all of this kind of evolving here, how much of this has to do with actual change in the economy and how much of it has to do with perceptions and the power of campaign messages? >> so i think there's a few different things happening. one i think that everyone thought and by everyone the romney campaign, i think the obama campaign, most political commentators and critics on the left which i would include myself and paul
12:41pm
krugman and others, thought the economy is a driving factor, uphill battle for the president to be re-elected and gdp growth is sluggish, personal income has flat lined, wages stagnant, a lot of things would seem to indicate the economy is not in good shape. but a lot of other indicators that look like the economy is getting better, trend line is very good. in certain states crucially important, ohio has a tremendous turn around and seeing that down to the effect of barack obama and governor john kasic. housing starts have gotten better and de-leveraging process which is households paying down their debts has happened quite in an orderly fashion. i think there's more kind of pent up economic optimism among voters than you would necessarily deduce from the top line numbers. >> push you on the optimism. stipulate what you just described is a big part of the shift but not 100%. >> yeah. >> there's another question here and you've written about this where we talk about
12:42pm
conservatives and ep stemmic closure, the idea you don't listen any more to certain facts you don't agree with and we've been talking about it on this show today, but not just conservatives. there may be this sort of exciting energy around the idea that we're improving that correlates with partisanship and the big new pew numbers out last week and in a big "new york times" article show that there's now a gap from republicans to democrats, and their view of the economy of over 35 points, which and this is the big part, which about a year ago, was even. see on the screen that shows republicans and democrats viewed it even the same way recently and are split smith apart going into an election about the economy. >> partially that's coun founding data. people are reading that question who do you support for president, translating it. >> they know there's a right answer. >> based on who they're voting for. i think i was out in nevada, and nevada is a fascinating case.
12:43pm
it has basically the highest unemployment in the country and highest foreclosure rate. 80% of the homes are under water and barack obama is winning there. talking to people there, they feel optimistic and one of the things i think the romney campaign has done a bad job with and the republican party is telling a story of economic stagnation that isn't also a story of doom, gloom and pessimism. people in nevada want to feel like a turn around is around the corner and feel like it is and having someone run for president saying this is the end of the worl as we know it is not an effective message. >> much as the way people are trns lating the pollsters questions, i want to translate chris hayes and ask ben smith is it morning in america? >> i don't think many economists think it's morning in america. i don't think economists views have gone like that over the last year the way democrat views have. i think, in fact, obama and the congress are going to turn around if he's re-elected after
12:44pm
the election and be coping with these difficult choice all over again. >> toss in there that there is data that helps with this as well. senator webb at president obama's campaign event yesterday in virginia started out by saying the stock market has doubled during the period that obama has been in office, but there are, obviously, other bits of data that are a disconnect from this. >> the fascinating thing, on two bigger issue, afghanistan and the economy, the biggest vulnerability the president has is on his left. there is a huge amount of political gain to be made to say get out of afghanistan and the biggest attack on the management of the recovery isn't the aggregate performance of the economy it's the distributional bye furcation of the economy between profits and wages, what's going on in the dow and corporate compensation and wall street and what's going on with average workers but mitt romney cannot make that critique. it is impossible for him to make that operating in the ideological -- >> to eggs tend that, you write about what liberal donors and infrastructure is doing, a bit of a distortion in the
12:45pm
marketplace for ideas here because a lot of progressives and a lot of people with money who are spending campaign cash, inside or outside, aren't making that critique either, right. >> right. you have to have a critique of obama among the outside groups and romney campaign even the romney campaign has been sort of changing its line of attacks. i get different types of attacks on him daily in my inbox but let's look at one data point that you put up earlier, do you trust romney or obama handling on the economy. for so long, that was the -- like one of the few areas where romney consistently pulled ahead and shows, this is no longer like a choice between the incumbent who's done an okay or bad job, you know, and some notional manager somebody who might run. it's mitt romney and barack obama. >> most effective ad mitt romney ran early with the bumps in the road saying i'm not a bump in the road, people unemployed. it looked like a democratic ad because it was aimed at the middle and working class.
12:46pm
he's got caught up in his own rhetoric. >> more bumps in the road tomorrow. catch him on this topic and the show up with chris hayes, this and every saturday, and sunday, at 8:00 eastern on msnbc. now coming up, an incredible injustice unites the nation crisis divides mitt romney's campaign from within. alex looks back at football, politics and bacon and asks what just happened, next. [ ross ] we are at the bottom of the earth: patagonia, chile. this is the first leg of our world challenge with the cadillac ats. this is actually starting to feel real now. [ ross ] this is the perfect place to test the ats's advanced aerodynamics. [ derek ] we've got crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds. aerodynamics is all about keeping the car planted on the road. you are going to get hit by stuff, so don't freak out. [ screaming with excitement ] and move out now. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats.
12:47pm
♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. what do we do when something really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. behr ultra. now with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon. olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day!
12:48pm
what's in your wallet?
12:49pm
as the nation addressed foreign and domestic turbulence this week govern are mitt romney battled his own, alex looks back and asks what just happened? >> we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis. >> this week we saw a globe in crisis. international leaders,
12:50pm
converging on new york city, were asked the tough questions. >> world brittania. >> yeah. >> written by whom? >> you're testing me now. >> and the literal translation was what? >> again, you're testing me. >> it would be good if you knew this. >> it would be. >> meanwhile, a domestic crisis would unite a nation. >> bacon, bacon. >> a world shortage of bacon is unavoidable. >> i would pay double that for continuing to have bacon. >> athletic crisis would bring both parties together. >> the president hoped the refs lockout is settled soon. >> it is time to get the real refs. >> only to divide them once again. >> it reminds me of president obama and the economy. if you can't get it right it's time to get out. >> a candidate would go to war with himself. >> don't forget, i got everybody in my state insured. i don't think there's anything that shows more empathy and care. >> like jack nicholson in "a few good men". >> you're dam right i did.
12:51pm
>> the romney way you're gosh darn right i believed in the mandate. >> would go war with the laws of physics. >> when you have a fire in an aircraft there's no place to go and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get inside the aircraft because the windows don't open. i don't know why. he would come to question his existence. >> that's quite a guy, paul ryan, isn't that something? wait a second. wait a second. romney, ryan, romney, ryan. there we go. >> as the hour that will determine his destiny grows closer, mitt romney must find clear answers. >> the first ground rule i would say to mitt is be who you are. >> i'm running for office for pete sake. i can't have illegals. >> it's a mistake to somehow be clever. >> i'm not a bomb thrower. rhetorically or literally. >> i'm mitt romney, and that's also my first name. >> he has to be prepared to defend himself as the moderator and obama will come after him. >> the way the rules work here i
12:52pm
get 60 seconds. anderson -- >> you knew you had illegal -- >> would you please wait. >> with mitt romney, is there ever such a thing as a crisis averted? >> i think as people look at his record and imagine him debating obama, obama is going to laugh at him. >> you ask me an entirely different question. >> now alex is out today on vacation on the planet of jupiter but did leave behind a special gift we on behalf of alex wagner want to congratulate ben smith on reaching 100,000 twitter followerses this week. when "now" with alex reached its 100th show ben sent over 100 peeps to mark the eoccasion. alex wanted to return the favor, congratulating ben with 100 bags of doritos. alex's twitter page has celebrated her love for the godden chips so it seemed like the right way to salute ben.
12:53pm
congratulations you are king of the internet. >> thank you so much. nothing really could be more appropriate. >> we have a few minutes left for you to eat through as many as possible. i would love to get a guinness record in addition. >> is this a sponsorship thing? that i don't know about. >> no poll conspiracy and branding conspiracy but she likes them. alex likes doritos. >> i like peeps. >> how did you get to 100,000? >> just being totally addicted to the service. tweeting a lot. when i was -- when i was just getting on twitter i asked a friend nancy sko la, who you know, how do i get more followers she was like be more interesting and tweet more often. apparently is not a trick. >> i heard nancy might be giving that same advice to the romney campaign. jeff, you saw alex in our segment there we showed talking about the debates and how mitt romney has at least at times stumbled when he tried to be funny. this argument he should be himself and you followed the obama campaign and officials at
12:54pm
the white house closely as reuters white house correspondent. >> yeah. >> what are they gearing up for? do they think they can make a gaffe out of a joke? >> it's a good question. certainly obama has shown he's not bad with humor, pretty good every year at the white house correspondents association, but i think that they're probably not focusing on humor. both sides are focusing on very strong one liners, certainly obama people are expecting mitt romney to come with some prepared lines, and the truth is, for both men, this could be a game changer and so both men are working really hard prepping for it. the obama team has made a point of saying romney has prepped more than he has but obama's leaving on sunday for two or three day debate camp in nevada. they're prepping for it very hard. whether it's humor, whether it's one liners, they want their man to have their -- his best game on. >> ben, i want to ask you this, you don't have to mention doritos in your answer, isn't there a risk here that president obama feels like he's in the lead, like he's always been a cool, consistent speaker and he will pull back so far he might look sort of a little mellow in
12:55pm
this debate? >> yeah. i think he's going to be -- it's a different situation. romney is going to be swinging and obama is going to be on defense. he doesn't want to screw up. >> we'll leave the word with buzz feed ben. follow this show on twitt twitter @nowwithalex for news and updates you're not going to get anywhere else. check out alex wagner on twitter. thank, jeff, joan, nicolas and ben. that is all for us. alex wagner will be back monday, noon eastern, 9:00 pacific joined by john heilemann, "the huffington post's" ryan grim and "rolling stone's" eric baits. find all of us and show clips at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. >> thanks so much. coming up next my interview with senator john kerry who has strong words for the romney campaign's claim to be debate underdogs.
12:56pm
and for their criticism of president obama's relationship with israel. also joining me is israel's ambassador michael orrin, congressman keith ellison and rachel maddow. up next. ♪ something to me ♪ that nobody else could do [ male announcer ] you start your day... love you, too. ...thinking about what's important to you -- your family... ...the mortgage... the kids' college tuition. [ cellphone ringing ] but life insurance? [ horn honking ] life is unpredictable. that's why at fidelity life we want you to think about term life insurance -- taking care of your family's future expenses if something happens to you. it's easy. we get to know you and your needs, then give you our best quote and our competitors'. you choose and save up to 70%. that could mean $250,000 of coverage
12:57pm
for just $15 a month. we offer plans with no medical exam, and we've been in business for over 100 years. call fidelity life. ♪ or visit fidelitylife.com for your free quote. [ horn honks ] hey, honey. do we have life insurance? ♪ [ male announcer ] or visit fidelitylife.com to secure your family's future today. now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh!
12:58pm
you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you, to listen and understand what's important to you. it's how we help you choose the right humana medicare plan for you. because when your medicare is taken care of, you can spend more time sharing your passions. wow. [ giggles ] [ male announcer ] with the people who matter most. i love you grandpa! i love you grandma! now you're a real fisherman. [ male announcer ] humana. begins with back pain and a choice.
12:59pm
take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" debate expectations, days before their first matchup both campaigns are trying to lower the bar. for his debate prep, the president recruited john kerry to play mitt romney who claims to be the underdog. >> please, please, please, give me 20 breaks not just one. >> the red line, israel's prime minister uses his magic marker to issue a warning to iran. my interview ahead with israel's am babassador to the united sta. >> the big question is, at what point can we no longer prevent iran from getting a bomb? >> and what about that bomb? >> okay. first of all, i just got to say this,